KARACHI: Pakistan bowler Hasan Ali made his presence strongly felt in the international arena, moving up from 75th position at the beginning of 2017 to the first at the end of the year.
Hasan took 45 ODI wickets in the year to make his way to the top.New Zealand pace bowler Trent Boult started the year on top. But it were Imran Tahir and Josh Hazlewood who led for most of the time in the year. In T20Is, Tahir, India’s Jasprit Bumrah and Imad Wasim topped at different points in time.
Other big movers in the bowling table were Bumrah (48th to third) and Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan (38th to eighth).Among all-rounders, Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan was the runaway leader across formats with Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in Tests, Mohammad Hafeez in ODIs and Glen Maxwell in T20Is snatching the baton from him at different points in time.
Steve Smith continued his reign in the rankings for Test batsmen for a second year running, finishing the year with the second highest ever rating after Don Bradman.Smith’s tally of 947 points kept him 54 points ahead of Virat Kohli at the end of a year which saw the Australia captain aggregate 1,305 runs with six centuries. His India counterpart Kohli, however, kept a steady hold on the ODI number one ranking for most of the latter part of the year even though his year-end aggregate was only four points more than second-placed AB de Villiers.
Unlike in Tests, the top position in ODIs was fiercely contested for, with as many as 12 changes between Kohli, de Villiers and David Warner. Kohli led for 190 days in this format, while his hold at the top in T20I rankings was virtually right through. He was top-ranked for 358 days in the shortest format, only losing the spot to Aaron Finch towards the end as Kohli missed a three-match home series against Sri Lanka when he got married.
Those rising rapidly in Tests in 2017 were India opener Lokesh Rahul (49th to 12th) and West Indies middle-order batsman Shai Hope (107th to 34th).Ashwin started the year at the top among bowlers in Tests but it was his spin-twin Ravindra Jadeja who ruled for the longest period (187 days). England pace bowler James Anderson (115 days) finished the year on the top. Ashwin and Jadeja were also briefly jointly-top ranked.
In women’s rankings, Meg Lanning of Australia and Marizanne Kapp of South Africa led for most of the time in ODI batting and bowling, respectively, even though India captain Mithali Raj regained the top ODI ranking for batters by the end of the year.
West Indies skipper Stafanie Taylor and Australia’s Ellyse Perry prevailed in the all-rounders’ rankings in 2017.Mithali Raj became the leading run-scorer in Women’s ODIs and reclaimed the top spot in the batting rankings over Meg Lanning.
In T20Is, Taylor topped the batters’ list through the year, while also prevailing among all-rounders for the most part (240 days). Her compatriot Hayley Matthews and Perry were also at the top for significant periods of time. Anya Shrubsole was the top-ranked bowler for 242 days with Matthews at the highest for 71 days.